Sunday Reflections: Finding a Family Rhythm

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Life at the Strauss House...

Starting off school last week, I had several kiddos sick, which made it challenging to really find a rhythm.  This week, everyone is healthy, and it's been good to have a week of a regular routine.  Our favorite part of our week has been our Wednesday afternoon culture outings.  Wednesday evenings we drive out to church near Downtown Ft. Worth, so I thought that since we were heading that way weekly, I could capitalize on the location and take advantage of some of the great cultural offerings.  This week we went to the Conservatory at the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Amon Carter Museum.  It was lovely!

Finding a rhythm for Cultivating Culture

Where I'm reading in the Bible...

I'm in 1 John 1:5-7 this week.  It's been a long time since I've taken the time to read really slowly through the Bible, and this year it's going to be the book of 1 John.  This week I've been contemplating darkness and light.  The Latin word for light is lux. It's a third declension noun, so the rest of it's forms have the root luc-. When I started looking up derivatives, I found lucid and then Lucifer (or the angel of light).  This was pretty fascinating to me.  Lucifer was the brightest angel, but in 1 John 1:5 it explains the difference between Lucifer and God.  While Lucifer was the brightest, Deus est lux, or God is light.  Lucifer was merely the greatest reflection, but never the source.

Tenebrae is the Latin word for darkness.  When I looked up the definition, I found especially the darkness of night, or in poetic terms, the shadow of death, and gloom or darkness of the mind.  Night, death, depression.  That is darkness.  The absence of the ability to reflect the light.  The comfort is that if I am in the light, I should be able to reflect the light, even in the smallest reflective properties.  I'm going to be thinking about these ideas more...oh the richness of the Word of God.

What books we're reading...


Betsy: .

Family Read Alouds: 

  • The Magician's Nephew - We finished this one on Friday!  On to the next in the series.
  • My Book House, Volume 2 - The kids have really been enjoying this collection of read alouds.  Our favorite story from this book this week was


  •  Johnny Tremain - We're entering into the American Revolution documents in our history, so this book is a fun way to get into the time period when those documents were written.
  • This Present Darkness - He's still planning his schedule to have time for fun reading, but I love that that he makes sure he gets his assigned reading done first!



  • The Princess Test This is my favorite of the Princess Tales series.  It's a twist on the classic "Princess and the Pea" fairy tale...and it's SO funny!  I could listen to this one for a long time!!
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - She listens to this one on audible - it must be her 50th time.  I love that she loves listening to good stories over and over again.


  • Captive - I passed this one on to my mom after I finished it.  She read it quickly too and was inspired by the amazing protection of God in both keeping Ashley Smith safe, but also to resolve the situation without anyone else being killed.  The Captive giveaway only has a few days left, so there's time to enter if you haven't already!
  • Go Softly All my Years by Virginia Benson a WWII historical fiction from an author she's never read before.  She says she has been pleasantly surprised by how much she's enjoyed it.

Steps towards a healthier lifestyle...

I feel like I'm making headway on adjusting my thinking...I'm at least contemplating my choices.  At the movies the other night, I decided to forgo the popcorn that I really wanted because I'm enjoying how I feel when I eat well.

I'm also getting up a bit earlier.  Walking at 6:30am is much preferred to walking at 6:30pm in Texas.  The heat at night has not abated, and the morning is so refreshing.  My husband walks with me on weekday mornings, and my kids on the weekends.  I've found that these walks not only impact my physical health, but also bless the relationships with the most important people in my life.  That makes all of the painful steps that much sweeter.

This week's highlights...

Jason and I attended our first prescreening of a movie!  We were invited to see Captive - a movie based on the book I'm giving away on my blog.  I love that I had read the book before I saw the movie because I felt like I could understand the thoughts behind the actions of the characters.  However, my husband hadn't read the book, and he was just as moved by the powerful story of Ashley Smith who was held captive in her apartment by Brian Nichols who had just shot and killed four people before he found her to hide out.  Without the hope of God, life is a continual connection of intense moments of fear, but this movie beautifully shows that even in the darkest moments of life, there is always hope.  Go see it with your spouse, but it's pretty intense for kids!

Sunday Reflections:

As I look back over the week, ten things I can thank God for :

  • Allowing me to reflect even a sliver of His light
  • A good steak - Jason and I enjoyed our 16th anniversary date at Salt Grass Steak House.  I didn't even have to share!
  • Watching my Challenge 1 class engage in conversations with Socratic Circles - 14 & 15 year olds are amazingly insightful
  • Great conversations with friends as we discuss Norms and Nobility - a think read, but such a blessing!
  • My husband's irresistible coffee...why does it taste better when he makes it?
  • Having my niece in my Challenge 1 class - I absolutely love my nieces and nephews, so it's pretty cool to see the amazing young woman she's becoming.
  • Free fun to be found in Downtown Ft. Worth
  • My youngest pulled her own tooth this week for the first time!  She has stubborn this was a huge blessing!
  • Conversations about salvation with my kids - even though they've all prayed to receive Christ, the conversations continue as we work to gain understanding
  • Being the source of true light in which no darkness exists at all.

Finding a rhythm is good.  The most important way to establish rhythm is starting each day with the Lord.  It's like the down beat.  It sets the pace for all the rest.

The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

I'm excited to be linking up with Collage Friday at Homegrown Learners!


  1. Emily on August 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    3 Things:
    1. Love the whole idea of your Sunday Reflections. So lovely!
    2. We’re about to start Crispin, but finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last week.
    3. LOVE that you mention what you’re reading in the Bible. My yearly plan is almost up and I’m about to start back with a chronological reading.
    Bonus: Love that you’re with IHN now and I’m happy to have found my way to your blog. 🙂

    • Betsy on August 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Emily! Crispin is one of our favorites…and we’ll be starting The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe this week! So funny. I’ve always wanted to do a read through the Bible in a year, but this year God has told me to slow down. So I’m going to read like a snail and I’m loving it. I’m so thankful to be a part of IHN and I look forward to learning from all of you!

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